According to Atlas VPN research, cumulatively, scammers created over 35,500 unique websites related to COVID-19 in the last month. Here, they tried to swindle money via phishing scams or selling masks, hand-sanitizers, and virus testing kits.
The report also shows that at least 2,000 websites related to COVID-19 are created daily, with half of them being scams. Amazon and Shopify are taking matters into their own hands by removing misleading listings or shutting down suspicious e-shop sites.
“Due to the short supply, most trusted vendors are unable to provide medical equipment to customers,” said Rachel Welsh, COO of Atlas VPN. “People are panicking, which pushes them toward making irrational decisions. This way, they end up paying money to scammers. If well-known, trusted suppliers are out of stock, it is unlikely that an unknown website will have those items, especially with even government orders being delayed.”
Meanwhile, Interpol announced receiving reports of losses as high as $100,000 per case. During March, the agency blocked 18 bank accounts and froze over $730,000 in fraudulent transactions.
Authorities in the UK also report significant cash losses of its citizens. Police identified 106 cases of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totaling over $1.2 million.
To read the full report, click here.